First sortie

After three continuous day of ground school last week, I was finally planned to fly sortie one today! It has been almost five years since I had control on an airplane and there is always this special sense of touch. As usual, I was the nervous type as I walked out to the aircraft together with my instructor, who so happened to be the 1983 cable car incident helicopter pilot who was sent to rescue the tourist trapped in the cable car. Based on what I heard from previous courses, he was famous for being impatient and one who would not hesitate to demoralize or “chop” students if they do not perform up to his standard.

Nonetheless, it was a great sortie as I was generally able to recognize the training area boundaries as well as take the aerobatics maneuver he pulled on purpose to see if I’m prone to airsickness. He emphasized much on flying procedures rather than flying the aircraft itself and I was taught how to prepare for each sortie before hand (mental fly) so as to perform well in subsequent sorties.

Here’s a piece of quote which someone mentioned to me before I left for Air Grading:

As a pilot, you need to stay ahead of your aircraft. If you do not plan well and only start thinking of your next action up in the sky, you’ll always be trying to catch up with your aircraft.